I recently bought this book from the book selection that gets delivered to work every so often. (Although in actual fact most of the stuff in the box is not books these days but toys and other things.) I took this one home first, on the day the box of books arrived, to see what Nick thought of it and if it was worth buying. We used it that same evening to cook a fish pie which was very good so I ordered one.
We have used it quite a lot, cooking several of the fish, chicken and pasta recipes with great success. Many of the recipes can be adapted to use whatever ingredients you fancy or happen to have in the fridge. On that first occasion I made my fish pie using one of those packs of fish pie mix, containing pieces of white fish, smoked fish and salmon. In principle you use the Philadelphia cream cheese to bind ingredients together in the same way as you would a sauce, for a pie, gratin or pasta dish.
To make the fish pie, you skin the fish and cut it into chunks. Boil some sweet potato, carrots and parsnips. Make the sauce using the Philadelphia in your chosen flavour by mixing it with a little milk. Pour the sauce over the fish, mash and spread the vegetables over the top and bake.
It makes a very quick and easy meal, is reasonably low in fat if you use one of the Philadelphia Light varieties and, because it’s not a flour-based sauce, is gluten free.
We have made alternatives using leeks and bacon with the fish. You could of course just use ordinary mashed potato as a topping. The variations are endless.
Naturally there is a section at the back of the book for desserts with some yummy-looking cheesecakes, which I have yet to explore properly !!
We usually bake the fish skin as a treat for Lulu, too.
Here’s my version of sweet potato and smoked fish pie.
This is what I use
1 medium sweet potato, or half a large one
1 large carrot or 2 small ones
1 large parsnip or 2 small ones
300g approx of smoked fish, dyed or not, as you prefer, or a combination of smoked and unsmoked fish. Fish pie mix is ideal.
2 tablespoons Philadelphia Light with garlic and herbs
2 tablespoons milk
salt and pepper
milk and butter for mashing
This is what you do.
Peel and cut the vegetables into cubes. Put into a pan of boiling water and boil for 15 minutes, or until soft enough to mash.
Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°fan/gas mk 5.
Remove the skin and any bones from the fish and cut into chunks. Put the chunks in an ovenproof dish of appropriate size for two people.
Mix the Philly and milk together until they are well combined and you have a smooth sauce. Pour it over the fish. Season with salt and pepper.
Drain and mash the veg, using a little milk and butter if you like, and spread on top of the pie mix.
Bake for 20-30 minutes until the topping is browned and the sauce is bubbling around the edges.
Serve hot with green vegetables.